Custom Course Increases Proficiency for M. Holland Company


At a Glance

Hooke College of Applied Sciences works with companies to develop training that meets specific needs. M. Holland Company received hands-on training that was immediately applied in their laboratory.

Situation

One of the leading North American distributors of high quality thermoplastics and resins, an authorized distributor for commodity and engineering plastic resins, contacted Hooke College of Applied Sciences to discuss training. Their needs were twofold; namely, to limit their reliance on the raw material producers’ laboratory services to source and identify the cause of product failure, and to provide physical and analytical testing for their customers, while maintaining ISO 9001 Standards as a commitment to quality.

After setting up their microscopy laboratory with support from McCrone Microscopes & Accessories, M. Holland Company soon realized the need to optimize the use of the equipment, and increase the efficiency and accuracy of their analyses; they also realized vendor training alone could not accomplish these goals.

Issue

With over a hundred different resins used in applications for thousands of customers, our client needed help in learning to prepare samples from products that had been manufactured using the raw materials that they distribute. Based on the client’s needs, it was determined that a standard Hooke College microscopic particle handling course would not address the nuances of the samples they test and investigate, and a traditional polarized light microscopy course would not place enough emphasis on their most common problems. In addition, the client wanted training that integrated multiple analytical techniques specific to the instruments they had recently purchased.

Solution

Hooke College staff and instructors interviewed several of the client’s laboratory staff members, and reviewed their representative samples, identifying several analytical techniques that would be valuable to use in their laboratory. This interview process helped to define the tasks, knowledge, and skills of the client’s particular work environment, enabling the Hooke College faculty to customize a curriculum to meet their needs.

The client sent a team of three analysts for specialized training, focusing on a wide variety of representative manufactured pieces that used their products, including shampoo bottles, a nacho maker, and plastic stadium seating, just to name a few. After five days of hands-on training in sample preparation and polarized light microscopy, the analysts gained the knowledge and proficiency they needed to better handle their samples and serve their customers. The five-day course was followed with an online client webinar in which additional samples and techniques were discussed. This post-course session helped to further reinforce techniques and concepts that were learned during the hands-on portion of the course.

Shortly after the training session, our client reported back that they had learned approaches to challenges that they regularly faced in the laboratory, which empowered them to better handle their samples and identify a wider variety of defects caused by product contamination. The successful development of improved analytical skills provided our client with a sense of on-the-job achievement, which ultimately leads to higher productivity and innovation in the workplace.